The most useless thread got me thinking about the opposite. What are the essential tools for a kitchen to efficiently and effectively get work done?
Here is my list, please add your own. Let’s think of affordability, also.
**A Set of Quality Knives. ** Wustof not required, but make sure they have a good heft, can hold an edge, and can be resharpened.
**A Real Cutting Board ** Wood or Delrin. NO glass (creeps me out just thinking about the damage to the edge of the knife).
Stainless Steel Nesting Bowls Lightweight, easy clean and take a lot of abuse. Can go from freezer to burner without damage.
**Quality Pot and Pan Set ** Caphalon is good stuff, but Cuisinart has a nice line that I actually like better. The Cuisinart works well on flat top burners because of the flat steel bottom that doesn’t warp. If you use gas then a flat bottom is not as important.
Too Many Whisks, Tongs, Spatulas, Spoons, etc. I really like the Oxo line for this. Generally well-though out, well-built products. Get plenty since several of each will always be dirty.
I highly recommend going to a restaurant supply place to pick up the above items.
High Output Stovetop Restaurant food tastes good because they use very high heat to sear and caramelize their food. A quick heating burner also helps to get work done faster, leaving more time for wine.
High Output Outside Venting High heat makes smoke and it has to get out of the kitchen pronto. Look inside any restaurant kitchen and you will see massive venting. 600 cfm is the bare minimum. 900 afm is aceptable. 1200 cfm is better. More is best. Outside venting is essential. Back it all up with a box fan in a window that can take out the residual.
Convection Oven Not really essential, but if you are going for a new stove and vent, go with convection also. Really cooks food evenly, essential for baking. The convection broiler is very handy–works much faster and evenly to brown food than a regular oven.
The above three are expensive, yes, but essential if you want to step up your cooking to the next level and get the flavors that come from high heat (and resulting smoke).
Food Processor Any brand works well. The bigger the better.
Stand Mixer Only if you do a lot of baking. Otherwise, a hand mixer works just fine.